Off Grid Living Expert Robert Henry Shares Self-Reliance Tips
( Originally posted at the inquisitr.com )
A growing portion of Americans are opting to go off the grid and live a more self-reliant lifestyle. Some of the folks who chose a more simplistic existence did so out for environmental reasons, others relocated because they are “preppers” concerned about economic and political issues. Renowned survivalist Robert Henry has a plethora of preparedness expertise and frequently shares tips with off the grid, homesteading, and prepping families. Robert is the creator of the Survival and Preparedness forum. He routinely teaches on a vast array of prepper topics, and offers survival insight via a shortwave radio show and podcast. Henry is also a featured speaker at the Life Changes Be Ready Preparedness expos.
Since the late 90s, you and your family have lived full-time at your survival retreat. Please share what went into the decision to relocate both logistically and emotionally for you and your family.
Robert: I bought property in 1996 and started developing it. Even building the initial part of the house, I never really planned on living there full time. Just figured I would continue to live in Florida and that would be my survival retreat and weekend getaway spot. Hurricane Floyd came towards North Florida in September of 1999 and it was forecast to hit Jacksonville dead on. Between closing up my shop and home for the hurricane, I had what I considered a late bugout. What was usually a 3 hour drive became a 6-hour drive that it took some 9 hours or more. As I sat in a traffic jam in Georgia on US1 about 40 miles north of Jacksonville, I looked in the rear view mirror and thought to myself “wow, if there were a couple mushroom clouds over Jax right now you’d be screwed!” That was my survival impetus to make the move full time. The other was financial and family related. Our industry took a drastic downturn in 2000 and it didn’t take a rocket scientist to see that coming. Continue to pay rent, electric bills and higher costs of living in the city or move to where I had no mortgage, no power bills and plenty of food and water? Yeah that choice was easy.
Emotionally the change wasn’t too bad. Partially because the land was just a few hours from where we lived we went up regularly and to an extent gotten used to living like we do. I wouldn’t say the transition was seamless… but it wasn’t too terrible. One reason I recommend people buy retreat land within a few hours of home, if possible, is so that weekend work trips are more common and adapting to the new area is easier. Uprooting from Florida to move to say Montana would have been considerably more stressful and full of changes.